Tag Archives: Chai

A Few of my Favorite Things

To celebrate my recently learning how to say “my favorite” in Turkish I’m writing a post on my favorite things in Turkey.

1. Turkish Idioms – This idiom actually was mentioned to me by an American who I know here, James Giles and I owe him a huge thanks you for making me aware of this delicious idiom.  The Turkish is “çaktım köfteyi” and the literal English translation is “I slapped the meatball”.  The English equivalent is “I got it!”  or “Ah, now I understand.”  Reciprocally you can ask “Have you slapped the meatball?”  meaning “Did you get it yet?”  I love it, and like I said a delicious idiom.

2. Dolmush – I know it sounds like a cross between a dollop and Goulash, at least that’s what comes to mind sometimes.  It is my favorite way of transportation here; its the name they give their van-like shared taxis.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s a large van, that can fit about 20 passengers on bus like seats, with a forward and rear door.  The best part, and why its one of my favorite things here, is how they operate.  Forget bus stops, these guys can pick you up anywhere, and all you have to say to get off is “There’s a stop here!” and he’ll stop.  Also it’s really cheap.  To get on and go anywhere along the predetermined route, just pay the driver one and a quarter lira, which comes to about 75 cents in America.

3. Turkish Tea – As to why its one of my favorite things here in Turkey, I can’t precisely say.  I attribute it mostly to it’s rich, but light taste.  If you had English black tea, lightened it a bit, perhaps a hint of rooibos tea, and a slight aftertaste of rose-water, but OH so slight, that would give you an idea of what I mean.  The ideal cup of Turkish tea is said to be “rabbits blood” referring to the perfect ratio of the black tea and water.  Another reason why it may be on my favorite list is the ritual of meals here; its absolutely shameful if you don’t drink tea after a meal.  I’ve had waiters simply stop, stare and ask “Why”, just flabbergasted as to why you wouldn’t drink tea after a meal.  I grew tired of the looks and decided to make it a rule to accept when offered, and is now a thing I simply can’t do without in Turkey.  I need my tea!

When I learn how to say “my most favorite things” I’ll write another post of even better things, though it’ll be tough to trump these.  Until then “güle güle” which literally translated means “go smiling” or simply “bye bye”.